I’ve officially been done with school for two days and my damn keyboard has been sitting in the corner of my room.

I turned in a seminar paper. It was an analysis of La Chanson de Roland in which I highlighted the othering of Islam in relation to Christianity, the liminality of a character named Ganelon whose movement between Christian and Muslim spaces threatened the system of othering the Frankish Christians set up, and the ways in which the poem criticized the crusades even while privileging Christianity as always already right.

I just hit CTRL+A and deleted all of this text because it isn’t good enough. Then I hit CTRL+Z because I’m more afraid of being a coward than being mediocre.

I’m terrified of my keyboard. It didn’t used to be like this. I tried turning it on yesterday but gave up because it wasn’t plugged in.

God, I used to play that thing. I could show up to practice without even practicing the song throughout the week and play along if I heard the recording a few times. I liked to do that because it forced me to develop a personal style of playing. The muscles in my forearms were strong enough to handle over two hours of continuous playing at a time. Somebody could break into a song in my genre — worship music or something that sounded a bit like Børns or the Chainsmokers — and I could find the key and something to play within seconds. I’d make up a melody within a few minutes.

The keyboard freaks me out as much as stepping inside a church freaks me out or as much as hearing someone say Jesus’ name freaks me out or as much as hearing someone speak Christianly freaks me out.

I have weights sitting near my bed and I used them today to avoid playing the keyboard.

I know it’s inevitable that I will play it. I know it’s inevitable. Maybe I can play the accordion first before I play the keyboards. Maybe it won’t be as bad, playing the accordion, because I can play funny songs on it instead of serious ones.

Yes, I can play funny songs on the keyboard, but I would never do that to a keyboard.

God, I don’t know what I am trying to say.

Actually, yes I do. There is something twisting and wriggling in my chest cavity and I would like very much to scream to get it out but here I am, writing, trying to avoid what I know will get it out because it’s difficult.

I also play because I don’t want my family to know that I am home. If they know I am home, if they hear me playing, they will say that it sounds good, and that will strike me as profane because how can something so ugly sound “good”? Everything note that I produce is a transliteration of the ugliness doing the wriggling inside my chest cavity.

That’s why I have an electric piano, and that’s why electric pianos have headphone jacks.


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